Tuesday, June 18, 2019

disneyland paris, part 2

we had park hopper tickets for our day at disneyland paris, so once we'd gotten our fill of the disneyland side we headed over to walt disney studios next door.




captain marvel was there to greet us as we went inside.


you go through this building that's themed to look like old hollywood, and all of the facades are really fun.  there's lots of shops and a food court there.



and then you walk out and find yourself looking at a replica of the "storytellers" statue that's also at disneyland california.


the last time we were here, it was pouring rain.  while it was cloudy for most of our visit this time, at least we didn't get wet.  their entire cars land area was closed for refurbishment, though.


they have a toy story playland here, and it's super cute.  it was a lot more crowded than last time though, and the slinky dog ride i remembered was also closed for refurbishment.  oh well.


this is what i really wanted to do, though - the ratatouille attraction opened not long after our first visit and i was excited to ride it.  the standby line was really long though, so the hub and i got into the single rider line instead.  we wouldn't get to ride together, but that's okay.



it reminded me of the transformers ride at universal studios - a mix of a virtual reality attraction with a bit of movement in the cute little mouse-shaped cars.  and it ends with a peek inside the bistrot chez remy restaurant.  it was a really fun ride, and i knew the old lady (who adores this movie) would have loved it.  i took video during the ride to share with her, although since you're wearing 3D glasses for it i knew the video wouldn't be the greatest.  she liked it anyway, and hopefully one day she'll get to ride it for herself.




i was also pretty excited to see this:


while i like the guardians of the galaxy ride we now have instead at california adventure, the tower of terror will always have a place in my heart.  and since the hub enjoys this ride too, i knew he'd be cool with waiting in line for it.  i loved seeing the familiar set-up as we went through the queue.




 you can kind of see us in the top left corner, if you squint just right.


next up was the studio tram tour.  i wasn't sure what we'd see here, but at least it was a ride where we could sit for a bit.


just as i'd anticipated, there wasn't much.  it was just long enough to rest our feet for a little while.



the ratatouille ride had given the hub a headache and he was pretty much over waiting in line, so i ended up waiting for my last ride of the day solo.  he headed off to the starbucks in the disney village outside the park while i went here:


the old lady and i had fond memories of this ride, and so it was the only thing left that i really wanted to do.  and i definitely paid the price as i waited a full hour in line for it.  but it's such a great ride, and it's more exciting than it sounds.  you sit in these turtle shells that spin around randomly, and it's just really fun.  there's even a cute little model of it outside, so you can decide if you want to ride it or not:



on my way out i passed this monsters inc. themed area that the bean had enjoyed last time:


and then that was it.  au revoir, disneyland paris!  merci beaucoup!


we walked through the disney village just so i could check it out, and while i would've loved a drink from starbucks the line was ridiculously long.


there was an equally long line for this:


and by then it was almost time to meet up with our driver for our ride back to paris.  as we walked to our meeting spot we passed the train station we'd been to with the girls when we were here before.  it's right outside the gates, and an easy way to get here if you don't have a car.


back at the hotel les matins de paris, we'd been moved to our upgraded room.  and it was most definitely an upgrade - about twice the size of the first room with a bigger bed and way more space to move around in.


we decided to walk down the street to have dinner at one of the bazillion cafes, and shared some burrata and steak frites.  so delicious.


it was a lovely way to end our long day, and we both passed out pretty hard once we got back to the hotel.  we were averaging at least 15,000 steps every day so far...not bad, right?

Friday, June 14, 2019

you didn't think i'd skip it, did you??

we woke up bright and early on our first morning in paris and headed downstairs to grab some breakfast.  the buffet was already set out and it was lovely:




and they had this cool gadget that you put eggs in and it would either poach, soft boil or hard boil them for you depending on how long you left them in for.  i never did get a chance to use it, but i thought it was kinda neat.


everything was delicious though, and we were happy campers.


so i'd booked us a driver that would take us to disneyland paris for the day and then come back to pick us up and take us back to the hotel.  he arrived promptly, was very polite and once we were settled in the back seat, tried to stealthily take a picture of us.  we just kind of laughed it off, but it was a little weird.  heh.  

i'd read that it's about 45 minutes away, but because homey put the pedal to the metal i was seeing these signs about half an hour later:


he handed us our tickets and confirmed our pickup time, and then we were off for a super fun day at the parks.




we'd arrived just before 10, and i hadn't checked the park hours for that day but it turned out that we made it for rope drop.



the castle here is so pretty.  also sleeping beauty's castle, it's twice the height of ours, with a cool walk-through that tells the story.






but they definitely have an edge on us though, because when you go around the side, you'll find this sign:


 and downstairs, the dragon awaits.  a full-sized audio-animatronic dragon that roars and snorts and moves his head around and watches you as you watch him.  a dragon!  underneath the castle!  so cool!


we had fast passes built into our tickets, but just like rope drop at home, the lines don't really require using them.  we got onto hyperspace mountain in about five minutes - and it was just as fun as i remembered.  there's a loop and a corkscrew and i don't even remember what else, but it's more intense than the one we have at home.



 they also have star tours, which we passed on:


and a version of videopolis, which i remember disneyland at home having back in the 80s - it was a dance club.  but theirs is a building that seems to have a jules verne theme, and apparently has a restaurant inside.


hi, buzz lightyear!  hope you're getting lots of rest during your renovation!


we wandered into adventureland next.  i was hoping to see the genie pop out around the corner, but he didn't. maybe it was too early.



the hub's favorite ride at disneyland is this one, so it was our next ride.  all of my pictures from inside are super blurry because of darkness and movement (and i'm a terrible photographer), but at least i managed to catch jack sparrow.  and funny - they take a picture of the boat when it drops here.



i remembered the skull rock area from last time - the hub and the bean spent a good amount of time here, exploring the caves and crossing bridges and whatnot.



 and i'm pretty sure this is where we ate with them last time, too.


next up - indiana jones.  they have fun stuff to look at while you're in line (which wasn't for too long, yay).



captain jack's restaurant is one of those full service places that takes reservations 2 months in advance, but also leaves a little room for walk-ins.  we decided to head there for lunch and managed to get a table pretty easily.



and here they offer drinks from a full bar:


we both opted for the prix-fixe "pirate's treasure" menu.  the hub chose the smoked chicken starter, while i went for the island-style fish soup.  both were meh.


for his main course he ordered the caribbean chicken, and this was the oven-baked mahi mahi that i ate.


desserts were island-style rice pudding with mango puree and shortbread with roasted pineapple and bourbon-vanilla whipped cream.


i have a picture with "captain jack," but i can't find it.  oh well.

after our somewhat disappointing lunch, we went into fantasyland to walk it off.


the wait to meet mickey was an hour...pass.  we fell for that last time and then he wasn't even dressed in anything special.


we'd also gone through the alice in wonderland-themed "curious labyrinth" area with the girls, but there weren't as many people there that time and so i settled for taking a few pictures from afar.



how cute is this food stand, though?


we decided to wait in line for their version of storybookland.  it was here that we noticed even more examples of their lack of attention to detail.  it's not like disney at home, where everything is pristine and really well maintained.  there's cracks and chipped paint and cobwebs and things everywhere here.  it's like they just don't care, which is sad.


at least the ride was okay.  miniature versions of scenes from various disney movies that you ride through in a boat, but here there's no guide sitting in it providing narration.


there's "small world," of course:


and here you can still try to pull the sword out of the stone.  that sword disappeared from our fantasyland long ago.  maybe this is where it went.


we lucked out as we went into frontierland and found our way to phantom manor, which is their version of the haunted mansion.  it had apparently been down for a bit and when we walked up they had just reopened the line, so our timing was perfect.



 we could see big thunder from the top of the line:


and then we went inside to experience the ride.  it's pretty similar to ours, but they have this cool grand staircase after you emerge from the elevator where the bride is standing to begin the story.



and there's lots of details to look at outside.






 they have a version of the golden horseshoe:


 and we took a couple more castle pictures because why not.


their main street is pretty similar to ours, with most differences being just different names on stores and restaurants.




here, they have mickey rain boots instead of flip flops and sneakers.  i'm sure they come in handy pretty often.


i knew we had to pick up souvenirs to bring home to the kids, but i passed on this:


and they have this cool walkthrough behind the shops that would come in handy when it's time to leave and you want to avoid the crowds:


there's a whole display of the process of creating and sending over the statue of liberty, which was kind of fun to look at.


and that does it for the disneyland side of the parks!  next up...the french version of walt disney studios.  the fun never ends, folks.
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